Vikrant, India's first home-made aircraft carrier, will be ready for induction by 2020, a Navy official said here on Friday.
Commodore J. Chaudhary, Principal Director Naval Design, said its harbour trials will start by the end of this year while rejecting an alternate deadline of 2023 that a CAG report had postulated.
The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier has been named Vikrant after the first aircraft carrier that India had -- INS Vikrant, which was HMS Hercules for the British Royal Navy before India bought it after it was decommissioned by the UK.
This year, at the Republic Day Parade, the aircraft carrier will feature on the Navy's tableau, portraying the high level of indigenisation in the Indian Navy.
"The aircraft carrier, which is under construction, is expected to join us in 2020," Commodore Chaudhary told journalists.
Asked about a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report which said the ship would be ready for induction in 2023, the Navy official said: "That was CAG's version, as far as Navy is concerned, we are confident (of the 2020 deadline)."
A CAG report in July 2016 had pointed that the Cochin shipyard, where the ship is being built, has said it will be ready by 2023. The CAG had asked the Navy to work out a "realistic date".
He said the harbour trials would start by the end of 2018, after which the sea trial and aviation trials will be carried out. The ship will initially operate Mig 29 fighter jets.
"All trial schedules have been worked out, because we are going to sign next phase of contract with Cochin shipyard."
He added that there was some delay in delivery of certain equipment from Russia.
Along with the carrier, the Navy tableau at the Republic Day parade will also have on display a model of INSV Tarini, the sailboat which is currently circumnavigating the globe.
It will also have Marine Commandos, representing the combat readiness of the force.
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